Panthers have NFL-best 10 players selected for Pro Bowl
NEW YORK (AP) Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are two wins away from a perfect regular season. They are also a perfect 10 when it comes to the Pro Bowl.
The Panthers led the NFL with 10 players selected for the All-Star game on Tuesday.
Newton was picked for the third time, and five of the quarterback's teammates were first-time selections, including cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker Thomas Davis.
''It's truly an honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl,'' Davis said. ''All the hard work and dedication I've put into the game has paid off. I'm extremely excited and I couldn't be more thankful to the fans who took their time to vote me in, as well as my fellow players and coaches.
''To have 10 guys selected says a lot about our team. It says a lot about our fans and how highly they thought of us this season, and I think it says a lot about the way our season has gone. I'm excited and thankful to be part of the 10.''
Joining them will be center Ryan Kalil, who was picked for the fifth time, and linebacker Luke Kuechly, who earned his third selection.
Seattle, Arizona and New England each had seven players selected. Cincinnati and Kansas City each had five players.
Leading the way for the Seahawks was quarterback Russell Wilson, who was the only member of the offense picked. The rest of the selections were defensive end Michael Bennett, safety Kam Chancellor, special teamer Tyler Lockett, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Patriots star Tom Brady was selected for the 11th time, most of any player this year. Among the other Patriots honored were tight end Rob Gronkowski and cornerback Malcolm Butler, whose last-minute interception clinched New England's Super Bowl win over Seattle.
NFC West champion Arizona was paced by quarterback Carson Palmer, receiver Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Patrick Peterson. In addition, safety Tyrann Mathieu was selected, but will miss the game after tearing his ACL in Sunday's win over Philadelphia.
Wide receiver A.J. Green, defensive tackle Geno Atkins, tight end Tyler Eifert, safety Reggie Nelson and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth were selected from Cincinnati. It's the most Bengals selected since the 2005 season.
''I'm excited for our players who have been voted in,'' Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. ''They are both thrilled and honored to be recognized. It's a tribute to their teammates and the organization to have the number selected today and the high alternates.''
Raiders safety Charles Woodson, who announced on Monday that he will retire after the season, was selected for the ninth time.
Also selected was Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has 91 catches for 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns, tied for the league lead. Beckham was given a one-game suspension on Monday for his conduct on Sunday against Carolina, when he drew three personal foul penalties.
Twenty-five players selected were first-timers, including three rookies: the Rams' Todd Gurley, Lockett and the Chiefs' Marcus Peters. Peters was one of five Chiefs honored, including linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry, who was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to step away from the game late in the 2014 season.
Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin will serve as alumni team captains for their Pro Bowl teams. The draft will be on Jan. 27.
The Pro Bowl will be held on Jan. 31 in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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